Windsor's Perez racks up wins at national wrestling meet

By ERIC WITTMERSHAUS
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Coming off an outstanding sophomore high school season that culminated in a trip to the CIF State wrestling meet, Windsor’s Perez Perez recently took fifth at an offseason USA Wrestling national competition in Fargo, N.D.

Wrestling in the Cadet 106-pound Greco division against the best kids his age in the country, Perez went 9-1, notching three pins.

His win in the July 16 fifth-place match over Kamden Krum of Arizona came by pin.

Perez qualified for his second trip to Fargo in both Greco and freestyle by placing in the California cadet state championship. He took second in Greco and third in freestyle at the state level.

In Fargo, he fared much better wrestling in Greco due in part to an illness that hampered him in freestyle, but Perez said the upper-body-focused Greco is usually his strongest event.

“I like freestyle better, but I always end up doing better in Greco,” he said.

His only Greco loss in Fargo came by the slimmest of margins: a 1-0, 1-0 decision.

“These are the best kids in the country at their (age) level,” said Rich Carnation, Perez’s high school coach at Windsor along with assistant Kevin Guinn. “You’re slicing the onion peel pretty thin of what wins or not at this level.”

Carnation said Perez’s win will help put him on the map.

“He was not a kid people expected to place, and now people are going, ‘Man, I can’t believe how much he improved.’”

Perez was grateful to his family and Windsor teammates, who chipped in and raised money for his trip to Fargo with a car wash in Windsor.

Perez made the trip solo, but his family, coaches and friends were able to watch his matches streamed live online.

“I just texted my coaches and parents the mat number, and they could watch it,” Perez said. “It was pretty cool … like having them there.”